Authentic happiness

The main message I took away from Martin Seligman’s presentation is that if the individual plays to their strengths rather than dwelling on their weaknesses, their life satisfaction and engagement is improved. This resonated with me on a personal level as I was involved in a road accident early this year in which  sustained several injuries. I believe that I discovered my strengths during my rehabilitation which enable me to recover relatively quickly. These strengths include tenacity, determination, optimism and personal fitness. These strengths were also confirmed by the health professionals who helped me, who frequently remarked on them. I have since developed these strengths and feel more confident personally, academically and professionally and more content in myself.

Seligman presented some compelling evidence to support his theory including that from his professional experience, research (both his and others) and personal experience. This was presented as anecdotal evidence, but could easily be explored deeper as he has authored several publications in the field. This presentation has given me a lot to think about of how I will utilise the information professionally. I will endeavour to identify my strengths utilising the Authentic Happiness questionnaire and work with them and develop them. I won’t ignore my weaknesses, but will be aware of them and try to take opportunities to develop them into strengths. I will also take a similar approach with colleagues and team members, by utilising their identified strengths and encouraging  them to do so too.

Self-leadership Questionnaire 1 Unattractive but Necessary Tasks

Self-observation: 12

Cueing strategies: 15

Self-goal setting: 15

Self-reward: 15

Self-punishment: 14

Practice: 9

Total score: 80   Total score- self-punishment: 66

My score indicates that I have a high level of strategy use, which I was surprised about, as I don’t think of myself as strategic. I wasn’t surprised about any of the individual scores as I am very organised and believe in rewarding myself and others when I have done well, possibly as I have had dogs all my life and that is the best way to train them. I am actively trying not to dwell on my failures, but I find this very difficult, even though I know I should see them as learning opportunities. This will become increasingly important when applying for jobs. The practice score was not surprising as I hate to practice, which may be the reason I never played any team sports or musical instruments, even when I know my presentations or interviews will be better with practice and preparation. I would definitely like to improve on this and my self-punishment, which I feel I can do with the determination I’m famed for.


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